Weekly digest: what’s happening in open science?

Amy Williams

Featuring an explanation for the slow growth of open access, the revolt of Scientific Reports’ editorial board and Crossref’s new event data project.

The slow growth of open access via Euroscientist

Although in vogue with many advocates for change in publication practice, open access publishing has not been adopted as quickly as some would have liked. Although about 20% of articles were published open access in 2016, estimates give the market value of open access journals at only 4–9%. This article suggests that the low profitability of open access is a key part of this problem, coupled with the lack of commitment from researchers to publish exclusively open access. The success of open access, this piece argues, is dependent on funders, who have the power both to overcome the inertia of researchers and to provide a real incentive for publishers.

Mass resignation from Scientific Reports editorial board via The Scientist

Following the decision of the journal not to retract a plagiarized paper, nineteen editorial board members have resigned in solidarity with a researcher at Johns Hopkins University whose work was allegedly copied.

Non-profit scientific social media site launched to rival ResearchGate and Academia.edu via Times Higher Education

A new platform, named ScholarlyHub, has been devised in an attempt to allow authors to retain control over their work and data. The platform is in the early stages of development and fundraising for its construction is ongoing. Advocates say that it is time that researchers ‘left the battlefield [of for-profit publishers and venture capitalists] for the sake of science’. A subscription to the service will cost $25 per year.

How to engage the public in research via Sense about Science

This newly published document has been developed to help researchers involve the public with their research, and provides guidance on how research findings can be successfully shared with a lay audience.

Crossref event data – exploring what lies beneath the metrics via Crossref

This report looks at the development of Crossref event data, which will serve as an open, transparent data source for altmetrics providers to draw upon, and focuses on research outputs developed for scientific events and congresses. It explores the numerous challenges that the development team have faced in gathering accurate information on event data, and the importance of transparency when using and generating alternative metrics.

Introducing PREreview via University Affairs

PREreview is a new review process being promoted by eLife and is a practice in which journal clubs evaluate and engage with research before, not after, it is peer reviewed. The rationale for this practice is that it could enable papers to be improved ahead of their submission, making them more likely to be accepted and removing some of the review burden from journal editors. There is also, of course, the added benefit of far speedier engagement with breaking research.

Photograph courtesy of tontantravel Dec 2014